It all goes back to Mike Judge’s Idiocracy for me. In the future, the highest grossing movie of the year isn’t one featuring lanky blue aliens but simply a film called Ass. And that’s all it is. One guy’s ass on screen for 90 minutes. With the current state of Hollywood don’t think a movie like that would never happen. If a movie with no plot can bring in the bucks, just imagine a movie with no plot and a huge ass!
This weekend was all about audiences saying enough about politics and current events. They’ve put down their cheerleading pom poms now that the Chilean miners have been rescued, could care less about two holier-than-thou co-hosts on The View getting infuriated that Bill O’Reilly said the word “Muslims,” and have most likely forgotten the last hit video on YouTube. Now was the perfect time for a Jackass movie. Even with its frontloaded opening on Friday tapering off on Saturday and Sunday, it plus the 3D surcharge was enough to give it the first place finish. The opening was so good that it almost eclipsed the totals of the #1 and #2 movies opening the same weekend last year (Where the Wild Things Are, Law Abiding Citizen).
A hit before the creation of YouTube, the Jackass crew had a hit show on MTV, and followed that with two successful movies and the even more successful DVD releases. But it has been four years since we last saw them in Jackass: Number Two. A four-year gap also separated the first two installments, but in the land of fast-food pop culture entertainment, the gap between the second and third movies feels much longer.
I don’t think this Jackass 3D will eclipse $100 million domestic, but it leaves speculation that the franchise isn’t done yet. Though, if a fourth installment were ever to be developed, the crew could be well into their forties. But my “spidey sense” when it comes to DVD sales says that when it does get released on home video it will be TNT. Yes, dynamite. If sales eclipse those set by Jackass and Jackass: Number Two, Viacom may want to start producing even more jackasses.
The $50 million opening by Jackass 3D, doubled the domestic earnings of the action-comedy Red, starring Bruce Willis. The fact that Willis along with Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman couldn’t outdraw the likes of Johnny Knoxville, Bam Magera and Wee Man is a little disconcerting. Still, today’s teenagers have disposable income that they spend at iTunes, the mall and of course, going to the movies. However, while Jackass‘s numbers will taper off (they already have) as weeks go by, Red should have healthy returns, as its audience supports those looking for action and casual viewers wanting to see renowned thespians strap themselves with dynamite or a high noon standoff involving a revolver and a rocket launcher. (I did say this was in Red and not Jackass, right?)
Knocked out of first place but with a small drop-off in audience attendance is David Fincher’s The Social Network. It keeps chugging along as it nears $65 million domestic. While the Facebook movie’s loss in attendance was small, the film that had the smallest audience drop in the top ten was Disney’s Secretariat. Considering that this movie about the famous athlete appealed to older audiences, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of those early-bird showings were packed with grandmas, grandpas, and an odd assortment of strollers and walkers.
Warner Bros. occupies spots five through seven on the list with Life As We Know It dropping fast, though nearing $30 million; Zack Snyder’s Legend of the Guardians manages to stick around because it is the only feature geared for children; and The Town crosses $80 million in its fifth weekend of release. Audiences said “I don’t think so,” to having their souls taken, and the Emma Stone starring comedy Easy A has the best earning ratio ($8 million to produce, $52 million earned) than any other film in the top ten.
Four new movies opened in limited release. First there was the urban thriller N-Secure, and I can honestly say I have never heard of this movie before. And for somebody like me that tries to have a passing knowledge of movies in development, this comes as something as a surprise. Even with all of its tea parties, the group managed to make a documentary entitled I Want Your Money. It opened on 537 screens and averaged $520 per-screen. Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter opened to $231,000 on six screens. That number will increase when it has its expansion this upcoming weekend. Just below Hereafter was Conviction, starring Hilary “I got two Oscars what do you got?” Swank and Sam “I should have been nominated for Moon” Rockwell. And rounding out the new releases in limited release was the five and a half hour TV series/film about Venezualan revolutionary Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (aka Carlos). It opened on two screens to the tune of $18,200.
1. Jackass 3D – $50 million
2. Red – $22.5 million
3. The Social Network – $11 million ($63 million overall)
4. Secreatriat – $9.5 million ($28 million overall)
5. Life As We Know It – $9.2 million ($29 million)
6. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole – $4.2 million ($46 million)
7. The Town – $4 million ($81 million)
8. My Soul To Take – $3.2 million ($12 million)
9. Easy A – $2.7 million ($62 million)
10. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Fox) – $2.4 million ($48 million)